As an Atheist, how do you deal with it?

It's definitely, definitely the hardest thing for me. I think about how crappy it is to have a mother who is hurt by my religious decisions, but how much worse would it be to realize that when I lose someone in my family, they're gone forever?

A lot of the Atheists I speak to don't think about it, or don't seem to mind. What do you think?
(Hopefully this isn't a duplicate thread.)

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Unfortunately I have lost both my parents, the only two grandparents I ever knew, and a half-brother. As Dre said death is a natural process. I have always been upset that it is not spoken about more... It is the ONLY thing we know will happen for certain and very few people have any clue how to cope. I believe death and dying classes should be taught in the school system. Also, I have never spoke to a religious or nonreligious person who was truly at peace will a loved ones death. We never want the ones we love to die. . .for selfish reasons. My sister and I get together on our parents death days and do something fun to honor our parents.
Getting together on death days is a great idea. Hospice recommended it to my mom when her father died, and I use it for loved ones I've lost, like my godmom. I was really struck by your suggestion about death and dying classes. It's amazing how we try to shelter kids from the inevitable.
I agree this is a good topic, and most of all because death WILL happen some day. Experiencing death cannot be avoided, and as adults it's our responsibility to teach our children about it. It might help people to cope with it in the future too, and that is good enough reason to me. Death has such a stigma in our Western society, yet it's the most natural thing in the world. We say that "statistics say I am supposed to level till I am 76", but that's not how it works. I wish Westerners could accept that. You might die tomorrow, you can never now, I don't think we should take life for granted just because our life expectancy is increasing.
Maybe your right about death class but wasnt it once said that childhood ends when we realize we are going to die? I dont want to take away anyones childhood, those few carefree years before life takes over.
Well, my mother died when I was 6 and my childhood didn't really end. However, due to lack of proper caretaking (my dad sort of isolated himself at his work and my grandmother is stupidly naive) I did however become deeply depressed. if I had recieved proper treatment maybe it would've been different.
good point.
I never really had a strong reason to fear death, though a few scary things have happened to me that could have meant my demise. I feel that fear is by nature is probably innate but not very strong if you weren't brought up to fear it. The Abrahamic religions do cast fear into people.

I have been shot at, I also have been living with HIV for about 20 years, and my father passed a year and a half ago.

I just hope that I die laughing.
I'm not afraid of death, to me, it's a natural process. I've never given much thought about an afterlife - to me, the afterlife is living on in the memory of others.

I remember the first time that someone had mentioned the afterlife to my brother. He came home crying from school because someone had told him that if he didn't believe in God, he was going to spend eternity in hell...what person tells a child that? That's where I feel that fear of death stems from. But the thought of eternity scares me more...I'm not sure I want to believe in an eternal afterlife...I think I would get bored.
It's pretty emotionally strenuous for me. One thing that I do is, I remind myself that if I save a bit of them and then clone them later, there may be another of them one day. But I can't convince myself very often... My family consists of pretty much just my mother-- I have other family members, but I hate to admit that I don't care too much about the lot of them (except my mother, who I truly love and hope will never die [even though this is {probably} impossible])-- and she doesn't seem to care much about what I believe. So that's not a form of stress that I understand.
Well my grandfather put it very well to me when i was about 14 or 15. You only live once, and your not promised tommorow, and life is short so you gotta live life to the fullest. Mind you he isnt an atheist, not sure what he is actually, but i thought it was pretty well put.
Ever since then ive tried to follow that concept. And will continue to until i die.
So for me im not scared, because ill know ive had a good life and noone can take that away from me.

Now as far as heaven and hell go i think its just a reason to make kids behave. A little farfetched.
If it did exist i would end up in hell either way because even when i was considered a christian i cursed like a sailor, made fun of jesus and god, joked about going to hell, etc. etc. So yeah wouldnt have made it to the "eternal paradise" anyway, if you want to call it that. Hell would be more fun anyway, badass demons, and heavy metal all the time. sounds like my kind of afterlife, that is if it existed.

Sorry, i got a little carried away...
I'm not particularly afraid of my own death. It's everyone else's. My sister and I, for example, are so close that the word "sister" or "best friend" isn't enough. What the hell would I do without her?
I lost my godmom 2 years ago and it was a harder death than I could imagine; I don't think losing my own mother will be as hard. She passed in April, so in May I had all her kids (my age) over for mother's day breakfast, and we've done that the two years since as well. Also, watching "The Body" episode of Buffy by Joss Whedon was incredibly cathartic. I just rewatched it a few months ago and bawled my eyes out for a solid hour and at the end I felt more at peace. It was my first time mourning anyone since losing god-belief.




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